Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday Tip

Baked Haddock (any white fish can be substituted!)
Sprinkle haddock fillets with Old Bay seasoning and top with sliced roma tomatoes (as desired). Bake @ 425 degrees for 12 minutes (fish will flake when done). This was an easy and satisfying lunch when paired with a sauteed veggie medley (whatever was in the veggie bin) and warm tea.

Thursday Tip:
When entertaining around a holiday or other special occasion, try combining the food served with a gift idea. For example, I had my parents over for dinner last night, and served tandoori chicken, roasted brussels sprouts, and forbidden wild rice. As a holiday present, I bought the same rice blend and a rice cooker for them to replicate the meal at home! I could have also made the same tandoori spice blend and filled a decorative jar with a recipe card attached for easy meal ideas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fit Tips

Get a Head Start on 2012 Fitness Resolutions

Tips for staying healthy through holiday travel, temptations

With all those parties, tempting foods and travel, it can be a challenge to stick with your fitness program during the holidays. But doing so can give you extra energy and help you get a good start on a healthful new year.

Whether you're at home for the holidays or traveling, it is important to stay on your path to fitness during the holidays. Maintaining your workout routine will help you resist overindulging at holiday meals and parties.

Fit Tips:

  • When packing for a trip, include an elastic resistance band so you can do strength-training exercises when you're not at the gym. You might also consider buying a new fitness DVD for your trip so that you can have fun trying something new.
  • If you're staying at a hotel, find out if it has a fitness center and if it does, pack exercise clothes and take advantage of the workout opportunity.
  • Make fitness a family activity. For example, going for a family walk, having a pick-up football game or building a snowman are all ways to get exercise and have holiday fun at the same time.
  • If you're traveling by car, stop frequently to get out, walk and stretch. Promote blood flow in your arms by making circles with your shoulders and wrists.
  • To save calories and money, pack healthy snacks like trail mix and fresh fruit.
  • Eating a healthy meal before you go to holiday get-togethers will help limit your consumption of unhealthy party foods.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol, which adds calories and affects your ability to make decisions about healthy eating.

You can still enjoy the holidays without wrecking your fitness plan. The holidays are about spending time together. So enjoy the conversation and company and limit the cookies.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift Idea

The sessions must be completed by April 31, 2012.

Fitness Excellence®, LLC strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. Fitness Excellence®, LLC is not a licensed medical

care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in

determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tis the Season

Gluten free Gingerbread Cookies
  • makes 15-16 cookies (depending on cookie cutter and thickness)
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Bake time: 10-15 minutes (depending on thickness
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 C. Applesauce
  • 3 Tbs Ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp. gaur gum
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tsp. Stevia
  • 1/3 C. Agave Nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1-2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  1. In one bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients in one bowl
  2. In another bowl mix the remaining ingredients together using an electric mixer.
  3. Combine both mixtures together
  4. Sprinkle a little coconut flour onto part of counter and roll out the dough for desired thickness
  5. Use cookie cutter or bottom of a cup to cut out your cookie shapes
  6. Spread on non-stick cookie sheet
  7. Bake 12-15 minutes depending how thick your cookies are.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekly Workout Plan

Today I ran 13.25 miles on my treadmill in the basement. It was AWESOME! I love reading my stack of magazines while listening to the AT40 countdown. It got me thinking about tracking my workouts now that I am able [knock on wood] to resume my high intensity/impact activities more consistently. Here is my plan for the week:

Sunday: stairmill and upper body lifting
Monday: Spinning and full body lifting
Tuesday: No Limits Circuit and Strictly Strength classes
Wednesday: Spinning and Below the Belt classes
Thursday: run at home and Barbell Strength class
Friday: Spinning and FIT classes
Saturday: No Limits Circuit/CORE class
Sunday: vacay :)

Friday, December 2, 2011


TruFit and Healthy Haas Better Body Package
(call for pricing)
Includes: 3 nutrition consults with meal planning, grocery tour, and eating out tips AND 3 in-home training sessions with Jaime Follows, CPT and owner of TruFit!

The Healthy [Haas} Fitness [Excellence] Program -- call for pricing!
Includes . . .
Initial Consult and 2 Follow-up Consults with Jenn Haas, MS, RD; provides weeklong meal plans with recipes, tips for eating out, supplement recommendations, and customized disease treatment and/or prevention plan based on individual needs
Fitness Assessment and 2 Customized Workout Plans created by Chris Ridgway, CPT; option for e-mail or phone correspondence
This is a great holiday gift idea for your family, friends, or yourself! Give the gift of HEALTH and FITNESS with this unique program. This offer will end come January 1, 2012!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meal in Minutes

This dinner took 20 minutes and was delicious!

Turkey meatloaf with tomato paste, sweet potato and pumpkin pie spice, and steamed green beans:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Global Food Market

Which turned into this yummy mug of warmth . . .

I LOVE Pho and this made it super easy to make my own [inexpensive] variation on the classic vietnemese soup. This broth base would be great with sliced green onions and shredded cabbage as well as shrimp, chicken, or lean beef. I am going to be utilizing this gem all winter long!
My recent purchase at Global Food market included:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Eating Tips, Part 2

The holidays are nearly upon us, and we know what that means: lots of not-so-healthy food choices. Instead of the usual healthy holiday eating tips — don’t skip meals, eat slowly, limit your portions, take the focus off food — let’s focus on the good foods that are a part of most holiday dinners that we can enjoy without remorse. (Of course, some may require a few minor alterations.)

What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without turkey? Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, if you pass on the skin. Instead of basting the bird with oil or butter, just spray it with pan spray. Or, cook it in a brown paper bag to keep it nice and moist without all the fat.

Sweet Potatoes.
A nutrition superstar! Loaded with antioxidants, like vitamin C and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of potassium. Eat the skins and you’ll get lots of fiber, too. Keep this delectable vegetable simple; just bake fresh sweet potatoes and serve. Try to avoid the usual over-processed, too sweet, high-fat sweet potato casserole made with canned sweet potatoes and marshmallow topping.

Mashed Potatoes.
I know what you’re thinking: mashed potatoes don’t fall into the healthy food list. But, they can. Potatoes are fat-free; have more potassium than bananas; are high in C and B vitamins; and they are high in fiber when you leave the skin on. Potatoes get a bad name from the stuff (butter, cheese, sour cream, bacon, etc.) that we typically top them with. Try making skin-on mashed potatoes. Scrub potatoes and dice in ¼ to ½ inch pieces. Cook until tender. Drain well and mash with reduced sodium chicken broth, instead of milk and butter. Or, use low-fat milk and just a small amount of butter. Season to taste.

Green Beans.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin C. They also are a good source of vitamin A, fiber, potassium and folate. Try them steamed and sprinkled with slivered almonds. If you must have the green bean casserole, make it with lower fat versions of the typical ingredients.

Brussels Sprouts.
Perhaps they are not on everyone’s holiday table, but they should be. Brussels sprouts are a nutrition powerhouse, containing anticancer phytochemicals, as well as being an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fiber. My favorite way to fix them is to simply drizzle them with olive oil and roast in a hot oven until tender. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and you’re done.

Cranberries are packed with vitamin C and have a fair amount of fiber. They also contain antioxidants that can help prevent urinary tract infections. Ditch the canned sauce, though. This is often high in sugar. Instead, cook your own berries and grind or chop them along with other fruit to make a refreshingly sweet-tart salad.

Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and fiber. Pumpkin by itself is a low-calorie food. Too often, though, the only way we eat it is to mix it with eggs, sugar and evaporated milk and bake it in a pie. You can lighten up your pie recipe by using skim evaporated milk, cutting the sugar by 1/3 to ½ cup, and using a graham cracker or low-fat crust. Keep the whipped cream topping to a small amount or skip it. Keep canned pumpkin on hand all year and use it to make low-fat muffins. Just mix a cake or brownie mix (any flavor) with a can of pumpkin. Nothing else. Mix well and bake as muffins. You can add spices, nuts or fruit, if desired.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Indian Made Easy

Tandoori chicken with wild rice

I was inspired to make this dish after watching "The Best Thing I Ever Made" and witnessed Aarti's Indian-inspired version of this classic. I made it easier (being that I do not own a spice grinder nor did I have the 23 spices needed for the spice blend on hand)-- Global Foods Market sells the Tandoori spice blend that I added to 1 cup of 0%Fage yogurt and coated the diced chicken, marinated all day, and baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Served alongside a simple wild rice blend in my rice cooker (since I have a history of burning grains) to a perfect al dente chew. The verdict: spicy but definitely flavorful. Director Doc cleaned his plate-- always a good sign-- I didn't love it but will play around with the proportion of spices to yogurt and maybe even try a stove top cooking approach. Certainly cheaper than takeout @ $3.30/serving. I also served a simple romaine salad with dried cranberries and diced orange peppers (unpictured).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Below are “13 Ways To Healthier Holiday Meals:”

H ave low fat /low carb pre-dinner snacks such as raw veggies to munch on.

A void eating the turkey skin, which provides half of the fat in one serving of poultry.

P lan ahead to make sure you are not starving all day and then overindulging at the holiday meal.

P ractice portion control and limit seconds.

Y ams and sweet potatoes can be prepared without margarine and avoid the marshmallow topping.

H ave spray olive oil available for rolls and steamed veggies.

O verfill your plate with veggies and leave only a small space for higher fat/higher “carb” foods.

L eave the leftovers for someone else-eating the extras for 2 weeks won’t help your waistline.

I nclude green vegetables as half of your plate and the rest can be comprised of your favorite seasonal dishes.

D ownsize your dinnerware; use small plates.

A llow your food to “breathe;” don’t pile food high on your plate.

Y olks can be removed from boiled eggs to decrease fat in the cornbread dressing.

S ubstitute low-fat/reduced- carbohydrate ingredients as often as possible.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Zija Builder System

My Zija builder pack came yesterday. Yay!

I have been using the Smart Mix daily for the past 10 days and have noticed a significant improvement in my skin, mood, and energy level/improved workout recovery. Moringa is a truly unique plant that has the complete micronutrient panel and all of the essential amino acids in addition to omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, and lutein. It reduced inflammatory responses that occur in our body daily, and this means that it can improve a wide variety of medical conditions (from reducing blood pressure, to improving arthritis, and optimizing metabolism). The XM+ is great for providing a little extra energy with ginseng. The XM/AM capsule has chromium, natural caffeine, and a proprietary blend that maximizes metabolism and fat-burning capabilities of the body. The XM/PM has helped Director Doc fall asleep and has improved the overall quality of that sleep when used in conjunction with the Zija tea. I am excited to try the skincare line next. I urge anyone reading this post to contact me if you are interested in learning about how Zija can benefit you. I would be happy to give you samples and see for yourself. This is a fabulous product!!

Thought of the day:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Get Kids [and husbands] to Eat Vegetables!

"Good food is wise medicine."

~Alison Levitt M.D., Doctor in the Kitchen

How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

~ Tips from The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution

No Cry Picky Eater Solution coverOver 65% of parents report problems getting their children to eat vegetables. Kids should eat 3-5 servings per day, but a third of kids don't eat a single serving of vegetables on a given day. There are easy ways to encourage your kids to eat -- and enjoy! -- vegetables. Try some of these tips.

~ Put vegetables on a pedestal.
It's an odd fact that while vegetables are a healthy cornerstone of any diet, they are usually relegated to a back corner side dish. While interesting recipes appear for main dishes, the vegetables are often steamed or boiled in a routinely boring presentation. Start treating vegetables as the star of the meal and your kids will too.

~ Name the star of the show.
Vegetables rarely get the spotlight. When kids ask, "what's for dinner?" we name the meat and starch - "Chicken and rice" or "Steak and potatoes" and don't even mention the vegetables. From now on, name the veggies first. Create a fun name for the vegetable of the day you can help your children view them in a different light. So, what's for dinner? "We're having Brilliant Bunches of Broccoli along with chicken and rice."

~ Search out new recipes for veggies.
Try stir-frying a mix of veggies with olive oil to give them an attractive presentation and a unique flavor. Add a sprinkling of nuts or seeds or a dribble of sauce. Mix two or even three kinds of vegetables together for a colorful dish.

~ Get artistic.
It can be fun to serve vegetables in interesting containers or arranged colorfully in patterns or shapes

~ Let them dip 'em.
Serve a platter of raw veggies with dipping sauce such as ranch dressing, yogurt or hummus Kids often prefer raw vegetables over cooked, especially if they can dip.

~ Give kids a choice.

Routinely serve two vegetables at dinner so that you double the chance your child will eat at least one. Plus, seeing two vegetables will build an expectation that vegetables are important.

~ Get sneaky.
While you are teaching your child about nutrition, go ahead and hide some vegetables within other recipes to up your child's daily quota. It's easy to add chopped spinach to hamburgers, pureed squash into macaroni and cheese, crushed cauliflower into mashed potatoes, or bits of carrots and broccoli into spaghetti sauce. That way your kids get the benefits of vegetables no matter what.


Excerpted from The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution (McGraw-Hill) by Elizabeth Pantley

To receive a set of parenting articles at no charge send a request to

Sad Day in Happy Valley

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More on Moringa

Moringa’s Antioxidant And Anti-inflammatory Components

For people who are interested in finding the most effective health food products in the market, you are probably looking for a natural cure that will do more than just help you lose weight or improve your immune system. You want a product that is all natural and which will improve various areas of your health. This means that you will want a natural cure that will improve your overall bodily health. It would probably also be a great bonus if the product was affordable, as opposed to some of these other health products that cost too much money for a small amount. In the end, many of these other products do not even work. This is why Moringa is becoming the most popular natural health supplement in the world.

What can Moringa do? For one, this natural plant has antioxidant components. When we talk about antioxidants, we are talking about important substances that your body needs to neutralize free radicals. Antioxidants will not only clean out your body and protect you from harmful substances, but they will also improve your skin. You probably can not think of many other health products that will actually improve the way you look and the way you feel. This is an amazing plant that can improve your total bodily health.

You should also know that Moringa has an anti-inflammatory component. This means that this plan can actually ease your blood pressure since it stops inflammation in the blood. This plant will also help those who have arthritis and other conditions that lead to inflammation of the joints. This plant when taken as a tea or in powder form will lower the swelling and the inflammation, thereby reducing the pain and discomfort too. If you understand the importance of these components, then you understand that this plant has miracle qualities.

If you are wondering why you have never heard of Moringa before, then you should not feel left out. This plant’s miracle components of antioxidants and anti-inflammation are now just being discovered by the western cultures while this plant has actually been in use in Asia for centuries. The Africans have also used this wonderful plant for its ability to cure many diseases and disorders. If you are ready to experience this miracle plant, you can purchase it in many forms online today. This is the only way in the health food market to experience total body health.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Must Try!

I want to share an amazing product with you. I have been using Zija (the proprietary blend of the moringa tree) for the past few weeks and noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin, energy levels, sleep quality, and improved workout recovery (my knees feel amazing-- no glucosamine needed). This product has potent anti-inflammatory properties and is being studied for use in cancer treatment and prevention as well as many gastrointestinal conditions. I am urging you to try it. Here is some of the clinical research being done, and I truly believe you will be hearing more about this amazing product in the future:
NEW! Clinical Perspectives on the Health Effects of Moringa oleifera: A Promising Adjunct for Balanced Nutrition and Better Health by Brett C. Johnson, B.Pharm., M.B.A.
First there was the Discovery Channel Documentary...then the there was "The Miracle Tree" by Monica Marcu...Now Read this...
The world is beginning to endorse and recognize Moringa as the miracle we already know to be at Zija.

Please contact me if you want to learn more and try samples for yourself!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Philosophy

"Good food is wise medicine."

~Alison Levitt M.D., Doctor in the Kitchen

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
– Maria Robinson

"He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician."

You are what you eat, so eat well. A stupendous insight of civilizations past has now been confirmed by today's investigative, nutritional sciences. They have shown that what was once called 'The Doctrine of Signatures' was astoundingly correct. It now contends that every whole food has a pattern that resembles a body organ or physiological function and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to the benefit the food provides the eater. Here is just a short list of examples of Whole Food Signatures.

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .... It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

Grapefruits, Oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.